- Cryptocurrency companies spent less than US$2m in 2020/21
- Technology, crypto, banks, telecommunications and sports apparel categories named top spenders
- Insurance, beer, retail, automotive, lottery and gaming most active brand categories
Cryptocurrency brands helped the National Basketball Association (NBA) rake in US$1.64 billion in annual sponsorship fees for the 2021/22 season, a year-over-year (YoY) rise of 12.5 per cent, according to a study by sponsorship consultancy IEG.
Brands in the cryptocurrency space alone spent more than US$130 million for 2021/22, with IEG’s sponsorship intelligence database highlighting the massive increase from the season prior when the sector spent less than US$2m.
Five brands – Crypto.com, Webull, Coinbase, FTX and Socios – are responsible for 92 per cent of the cryptocurrency sector spending in the NBA, including some of the most high-profile inventory in the league, such as naming and jersey patch sponsorship. A notable example includes Crypto.com snapping up the naming rights for the Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena in a deal reportedly worth US$700 million over 20 years.
IEG’s study also shows that there were nine new jersey patch sponsors, including the Philadelphia 76ers’ deal with Crypto.com, which is reportedly worth more than US$10 million a year.
The technology sector was the top sponsorship spender, ahead of the cryptocurrency, banks, telecommunications and sports apparel categories, with each forking out more than US$100 million annually.
Insurance, beer, retail, lottery and gaming, and automotive are the most active brand categories across the league, with all five categories holding more than 70 active deals.
“The cryptocurrency category’s sponsorship sending spree is like nothing we have ever seen before, representing one third of all new NBA sponsorship deals,” said Peter Laatz, global managing Director, IEG.
“In one year, the category has rocketed up from 43rd to the become second highest spending sponsorship sector in the NBA right behind technology.”
IEG conducted a similar study for the National Football League’s (NFL) 2021/22 season, revealing that total sponsorship rights fee revenue for the league and its teams had climbed 12 per cent YoY to US$1.8 billion.